In this interview with The News Chronicle’s Ekpedeme Umoh, Kimberly C Agulebe, Business Development Consultant for M&E Migration Consultants Ltd, talks about opportunities for acquiring second citizenship or residency through investments, the likely impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the providers of such services and how to differentiate scammers from genuine providers of services in that sector.
TNC: First, let me thank you for agreeing to this interview. Your company, M&E Migration Ltd says it offers people the opportunity of acquiring second citizenship – among other services. Can you please tell us a little more about your company? When was it formed? What motivated you to venture into that line of business? And what services do you offer?
M&E: It’s a pleasure. Our company has been in existence for over 25years with offices in the United Arab Emirate, Europe, and other parts of the world. Largely because of our international partners, we can proudly say we are present in every part of the world. These international partners include Elevay in the United Arab Emirates and Discuss Holdings in Europe. The need to help people achieve their dream of a better life is what motivated us to venture into this line of business and that is why our slogan is, “Dream, Explore, Discover”. Many people are unaware of what is out there beyond the boundaries of their home countries, and our goal is to show them a world of possibilities through the services we offer which include second citizenship, residency, student recruitment, tours and travels.
TNC: Let me talk a little bit about second citizenship. What are the procedures for acquiring one? What do you see as its advantages and drawbacks – if any? Do you think having dual citizenship dilutes one’s emotive attachment to one’s fatherland?
M&E: There are different ways of obtaining a second citizenship or residency, but what we offer is citizenship or residency by investment. Let me explain further; a lot of countries are boosting their economy by encouraging investors to come in through migration to invest thereby giving them citizenship or residency. To obtain second citizenship or residency, you invest in any country of your choice provided your proposed investment falls within their qualifying investment options, and you get your second passport or residency permit. At M&E, we deal directly with the governments of these countries to help our clients obtain their citizenship or residency. The time frame to acquire citizenship or residency through this route is from 3 – 12 months depending on the country, and of course, there is an approval process that includes verification of submissions made by the client. Investments are not made until the application receives approval. Investments can be a donation to a government fund, real estate, government bonds or in some cases a bank deposit.
The advantages of obtaining a second passport or residency include international mobility. Some countries’ passport gives you access to travel visa-free or visa- on- arrival to over 155 countries or more. Imagine not having to queue up for a visa when you have to travel for business or leisure. Also, you have more countries to expand your reach and transact business with because of the international mobility your second passport gives you. Quite often with a second citizenship or residency, you get better healthcare, better education for your children, improved business and investment opportunities, etc.. Honestly, there are no drawbacks and there is a 100% money-back- guarantee on investments made and often interest on some investments.
Having dual citizenship does not dilute ones’ emotive attachment to their fatherland. If anything, it makes one appreciate their home country more. For instance, the sharp contrast in the quality of life between the country of the second citizenship and one’s country of birth may motivate some people to work harder for their country of birth to achieve the same or even higher standards than the country of their second citizenship.
TNC: Can you give us an idea of a typical day in the life of M&E Migration Consultants Ltd – from the time your office opens for business (I mean of course before the current lockdown) to the time you close for the day. What are the typical challenges your company confronts daily? And what puts smiles on your faces?
M&E: Haha!!! A typical day at M&E might sound boring to some people because we spend most of our time talking to clients about their options – sometimes on the phone or in face-to-face meetings… We like to make sure our clients are comfortable because we deal with some high net-worth individuals so we offer them VIP service. Quite often, we go to see our clients; and most importantly, we pride ourselves in confidentiality. However, our resumption time is 9:00am and our closing time is 5:00pm. We deal with clients from all works of life and they come to us with different needs. Each client’s need is uniquely different but as consultants, it is our job to listen like therapists.. haha and advise them on the option that best suits them and their need.
Of course, at the end of the day, what puts smiles on our faces is knowing that we were able to satisfy our client and that we offered the best service to them because our job thrives on referrals; so if the client is not happy, he or she will be unlikely to refer anyone to us. We are proud to say that we have many referrals, implying that we have lots of satisfied clients.
TNC: COVID-19 is currently the dominant conversation across the world. Many people feel that when it is all over, the world as we know it will change drastically. What do you think will be the cascading effects of the pandemic on the Nigerian economy? How do you think it will affect the demand for your services? How will you evaluate the proposed stimulus packages to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on Nigerian businesses? What will be your suggestions on how the government can help your sector?
M&E: I always stay away from politics so I avoid conversations that take me in the direction of politics especially since I am not speaking to you as an individual but on behalf of our company so forgive me if I avoid answering some of your questions. However, I will say this; the Nigerian government already offers visa-free and visa- on- arrival to some countries which is good because it encourages investors and also tourism so we should keep at it and do anything within our power as a nation to encourage more investors to come in and invest as this will not only boost our economy but also create jobs.
You just made me talk politics hahaha. After the pandemic is over, I think the demand for our services will increase as this pandemic has made a lot of people have a rethink. Imagine, if as a second passport holder, you were locked down in a country with better healthcare, power, internet and a government that might even pay you compensation for being locked down etc etc. I am sure a lot of individuals will go for the option of a second passport or residency. So, I am positive.
TNC: With too many Nigerians wanting to migrate abroad – either for greener pastures, second citizenship or for studies (at least before the COVID pandemic), how will prospective clients be able to differentiate the genuine providers of these services from scammers?
M&E: In every sector or business, there is bound to be a disappointment, and there will always be dubious people, but I think what matters is credibility, which M&E has and that is what differentiates us from scammers.
Ms Kimberly C Agulebe can be reached on:
Tel: +234 7085596239, 07086541470